In the hopes of a lighter sentence, convicted murderer Bryan Sedlak led detectives to a wooded area in Greenfield where they could find the remains of a 22-year-old Jefferson Hills man.
DNA testing confirmed that the nine scattered bones, which showed evidence of being sliced up by a table saw, belonged to Patrick Kenney, who disappeared in February 2005.
At a sentencing hearing today, Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey A. Manning said that was "too little, too late" and gave Mr. Sedlak 19 to 38 years in prison, 2 to 4 years less than the maximum possible for third-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.
In February, a jury convicted Mr. Sedlak, 37, of Greenfield, of killing Mr. Kenney in the back of a Homestead tanning salon. Mr. Sedlak claimed on the stand that he shot Mr. Kenney in self-defense while Mr. Kenney tried to rob him for cocaine, an assertion he stood by today in remarks at the sentencing hearing.
"I'm the villain and he's the hero?" Mr. Sedlak said, claiming that the dead man was the aggressor.
After Mr. Sedlak was convicted, Judge Manning told him that if he wanted anything less than the maximum sentence, he had to reveal the location of the body. He testified that a friend disposed of the corpse and he did not know where it was.
But in May, three days before his scheduled sentencing date, Mr. Sedlak said he was willing to reveal the body's location. He went to a wooded area near his house and showed detectives where some of the bones were buried. The sentencing hearing was delayed for the DNA tests.
The family sought the skull -- and Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini blamed Mr. Sedlak for stonewalling investigators, though he claimed he did not know an exact location for the rest of the bones.
Judge Manning said he gave Mr. Sedlak "some consideration" because he divulged the bones' whereabouts, but the sentence is far stiffer than what he was offered by prosecutors before the trial. If Mr. Sedlak had allowed the family to recover some of Mr. Kenney's remains, prosecutors would have agreed to a plea deal of 2 to 4 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, but Mr. Sedlak declined the offer.
The Kenney family plans to hold a private memorial service in the near future with the few bones that were found.
"We'll give him some kind of burial," said Mr. Kenney's father, James.
Daniel Malloy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1731.